Spring Cleanse

Spring has always been an emotional roller coaster for me. On the one hand, it’s so drop dead gorgeous and fresh, you could stay outside all day long. On the other hand… If you’re like me- working hard, traveling (Translation- eating rich, exercizing little) there can be a real gap between what you see and how you feel.

The photo headliner for today is a new pillow, taken from one of my daffodil photos –it’s just about ready for prime time. Soon, it’ll be available in full yellow, orange and spring glory. Stay tuned:http://paolaprints.com/subscribe/

Our Paola Pillows road trip south has led us to Savannah this week- an all around spring favorite. We love it here and one of the best parts is staying in the historic district, parking the car and walking everywhere. Savannah is made up of verdant squares on every corner and beautiful historic buildings.Savannah

Taking comfort in nature for me begins with finding comfort inside my own skin. Sooner or later in spring- it’s a good thing to get into a “winter recovery mode” and focus on your health. My nutritionist Alison Birks advises that you “let the ancient wisdom of seasonal eating guide you in your detox efforts.” Here’s what she suggests- it makes me feel better just reading it.

  1. Eating seasonally and locally is key.  According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, spring is the season when Kapha (Earth element) is highest, so there’s a general tendency to gain water weight, to feel heavy, bloated and tired. Your liver works extra hard to eliminate  toxins (Ama) that have accumulated during winter.
  1. Eat clean, lean protein. A proper diet is essential for gaining the maximum benefits from any detox program- better than either juicing or fasting. Try to eat less animal protein, dairy and rich oily food. These include: egg whites, lean skinless poultry, white fish and protein drinks made with rice or pea protein powders.
  1. Weight loss efforts are easiest if you choose foods with astringent, diuretic and cleansing properties.  Lighten up and eat more raw plant foods-filled with healthy phytonutrients. Raw fruits with natural cleansing qualities include: pomegranate, cranberry, apple and grapefruit.  Vegetables should make up the majority of a spring diet and prepared lightly cooked or raw. Best choices are: beets, asparagus, arugula, parsley, dandelion, cilantro, daikon radish, watercress, sprouts, onions, celery, broccoli and lettuce.
  1. Ideal grains include the astringent (slightly bitter) gluten free ones, such as: amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, millet and corn.
  1. Fat intake during spring should be below 20% for optimum weight/ fat loss and detoxification. Some fats can aid detoxification-and should be used in moderation. Coconut oil, ghee (clarified butter) flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts and pecans are ideal choices.
  1. One proven way to counteract the heaviness of spring and to aid weight loss and detoxification is to include many hot, pungent spices in your diet.  Ginger, black pepper, cayenne, wasabi, cardamom and cinnamon are all good.  Hot water with juice of ½ of an organic lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper is a great way to start the day while working on your personal detoxification program.

For questions and to learn more, reach out to Alison at 203-263-0673, Extension 355, or through her site: http://alisonbirks.com/ She’s awesome!

A gorgeous body can be the basis for a love story, but the real foundation begins with loving your own body. John Mayer takes it from there: http://youtu.be/N5EnGwXV_Pg

Or, older and much less slick, but oh, so romantic: Donovan’s, “Catch the Wind”   http://youtu.be/qKqoKDsOuHE

More beautiful pillows here: http://paolaprints.com/paola-pillows/

 

 

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